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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: Old oak table - surface finish

Posted By: Tim Judson (hsb29aec-pub.bellsouth.net)
Date: 10/28/4 20:45

In Response To: Re: Old oak table - surface finish (Paul Hickman)

As one Brit to another (except I'm across the pond from you at present) - mineral spirits = white spirit. Preferable and cheaper than turpentine as a rule. Steel wool = wire wool; I'd try a synthetic alternative on oak as wire wool shards could end up staining the wood. If the wood is a bit light you might try a wash with a mid brown coloured Vandyke water stain (I'm not sure if Transtints are available in the UK - I suspect not) to ginger up the colour. The white spirit will give you a good idea of the saturated colour of the wood so far and whether it needs to go darker.

Shellacs... depends on what you want to see at the end. I'd avoid grades like button and orange which in the UK normally contain wax. Waxed shellacs are more prone to water ring marking. You could go with pale extra (super blond in the States) or darker with garnets and such. If you use a dark shellac I'd be inclined to apply with a rag to even the coating - brushed dark shellacs are harder to control and can look streaky. No need to get a heavy build, just seal the wood and get a soft sheen, alow to dry for a day or two and buff smooth with wax (wax in conjunction with 0000 synthetic wire wool or similar works well). Wet / dry abrasive papers will likely cut through as thin coating like this so avoid them. Trick is to apply the shellac without ridges and streaking - which usually means thinning stock Mylands etc stuff with meths by about 1:1. Better your application technique, the less work you do at the end - anything for an easy life!

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